Lillian Brown, MD, PhD

  • Infectious Disease fellow, Division of HIV, ID and Global Medicine
  • Award Recipient - Excellence in Behavioral Science 2018


Career Overview

Dr. Brown is an Infectious Disease fellow in the Division of HIV, ID, and Global Medicine at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Traineeships for AIDS Prevention Studies (TAPS). Her research examines the influence of social networks on engagement in HIV care with the goal of developing novel interventions to improve treatment outcomes in resource limited settings. She is currently a co-investigator on the ongoing SEARCH study in Uganda and Kenya and sees patients in the Positive Health Program at Ward 86 and in the Infectious Diseases clinic at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

Spotlight: 2018 CFAR Excellence Award Recipient

When discussing her research, Lillian Brown underscores that traditional epidemiological models either ignore or adjust for the influence people have on each other – “but understanding how people are influenced by their social connections can lead to innovative and sustainable interventions by leveraging this social support.” Particularly important as an approach for studying youth, Brown emphasizes that they tends to lag behind adults in realizing the benefits of antiretroviral treatment.

“Stigma and lack of social support are also major contributors to their poor treatment outcomes,” she adds.

Brown’s interest in how social networks influence prevention and treatment interests unfolded as she went from an undergraduate career at Harvard to an MD and a PhD in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina.

With her latest and emerging findings, she is now looking to explore the social networks of HIV-infected youth in East Africa. Ultimately, this will enable her to design and implement more novel interventions to support their engagement in HIV care.

Raised in New England and now residing in the sunny Mission District of San Francisco with her husband and 8-month old son, Brown takes advantage of the Bay Area’s milder climate to spend her down time hiking, swimming, and exploring with her new family.